Cloth masks not so safe

Cloth masks increased “Influenza Like Illness” by SIX TIMES vs “standard practices” of only wearing masks sometimes, and by TWELVE TIMES vs wearing medical masks during all work shifts.  95 wards, 1600 participants, Hanoi. Cloth masks allowed infiltration of disease on 97% of the masks, vs 44% of the N95 masks. It’s expected that the moisture from exhaling is what allowed migration of contagions.
This goes back to the suggestion that if you *are* going to use a cloth mask, sanitize and/or replace it often throughout the day, but that procedure has not yet been tested/proven effective or not.


I have been maintaining projections on and .

Basically, it is time to hide from society right now. There are a lot of people still spreading it because it is their right to be free. If you get it now, there will be no resources to help you if you get very sick.

Projections may change by Wednesday, since that is 12 days after the national emergency was declared. If we cut our spread in half, then we get almost an extra week of respite.

Except, I know groups of people who were congregating for public meals as recently as Wednesday, and group exercise just Friday. 6 feet at 14mph is not enough. I don’t have the ability to get people to trust me. Either they see, or they don’t. Plenty actively disbelieve. It’s core to their being to believe exactly opposite of me.

We got complacent, because we’re “not like Italy. Look, they are older, and we were infected sooner. We’re so much better, and our death rate is lower.”

Italy started at +25% per day, and brought it down to +12% per day.

The US started at +5-10%, but for weeks has been spreading at +35% per day. Texas, my state, has to do it bigger. We’re spreading at +47%.

So, April 2, Texas ICU reserve capacity is overrun. A week later, all Texas hospital reserve capacity is overrun. I don’t know where in there we run out of trained medical professionals and supplies to treat safely.

If we did a great job when the pandemic was declared, we get 4-6 more days. A week prior, it will look like a normal day, a little busy, and probably still no toilet paper.

I wish it were not so, but the window of opportunity to change this course is almost closed, and we seem to be accelerating towards it, not slowing.

A tsunami is coming, and we have not even felt the tremor yet.

US death rates

US death rate is low and falling. It is so far lower than everywhere else, I strongly suspect that the dead are not being tested for the virus, and only if they were already tested would they be considered a SARS-2 death.

In reality, the death rate we’re looking at is per infected person, and that is a false-low. Plenty of infected people have time yet to die. You have to plot it based on deaths per recovered person to get a true value. Since we are not done with the outbreak, and the US is still pretty early into the big numbers, that mortality rate is artificially high. China is 4.0 for mortality per all, and 4.37 for mortality per recovered. The US is 1.28% and 62.4% respectively.

It is more likely that the US infection rate is so high that not enough people have had time to die. I think in the next week, we’ll begin to see larger numbers of US CV19 patients dying. Also note that the US infection rates have dramatically risen the last 2 days. This may reflect an improvement in testing ability and reporting.

The alternative is that we’re accelerating due to people disbelieving the quarantine. I still see that locally in the Flower Mound area. Mid-week, people were still gathering for group meals, and group outdoor exercise. 6 foot spacing is not sufficient when you’re downwind from someone, such as when you are moving 10-15mph in a straight line.

Where            Cases   Deaths Recovered  Mort/A   Mort/R
World          272,167   11,299    87,403   4.15%   11.45%
China           81,250    3,253    71,266   4.00%    4.37%
Non-China      190,917    8,046    16,137   4.21%   33.27%
Italy           47,021    4,032     4,440   8.57%   47.59%
US              19,101      244       147   1.28%   62.40%
Texas              394        1        0    0.25%  100.00%
France          12,632      450       12    3.56%   97.40%
United Kingdom   4,014      178       67    4.43%   72.65%

Mortality rates all vs recovered are 3.56/97.4 for France, and 4.43/72.65 for UK. More in line with everyone else. Again, too early for the mortality per recovered person to make much sense.

Current 7-day average daily change rates for deaths in US, FR, and UK are 145.75%, 174.69%, and 160.33% respectively.

Daily Change   Avg 7 Days
World             113.75%
China             100.18%
Non-China         121.04%
Italy             116.38%
US                145.75%
Texas             133.33%
France            174.69%
United Kingdom    160.33%

Current 7-day average daily change rates for confirmed cases in US, FR and UK are 157.69%, 118.24%, and 125.30%. In other words, the US is spreading the infection at double the rate of the UK, and three times France.

Daily Change  Avg 7 Days
World            112.54%
China            100.09%
Non-China        119.46%
Italy            114.74%
US               157.69%
Texas            150.91%
France           118.24%
United Kingdom   125.30%

That is in line with predictions that our death rates look lower because we’re spreading faster, and people have not had time to die yet.

Situational Awareness

In aviation, we have a term: Sterile Cockpit.

This means, during critical phases of flight, all attention is on the flight. There is no banter, paperwork, ipad/phone use, no programming the GPS, etc. Communication is only as necessary, which includes checklist and ATC calls.

Critical phases are Taxi, Take-off, and Landing. If you need to program the radios or GPS, you do it parked, or during cruise. Logbook info for the flight is after the engine is stopped. etc.

While it may be inconvenient, and consume extra time, it’s done this way for safety. When workload is higher, or when distraction is more likely to be hazardous, you reduce distraction.

An important point of this is that it applies to the Pilot In Command especially, and all crew generally. If you have a copilot, the SIC may be able to program the GPS / flight director, and handle ATC calls, while the PIC has eyes out of the plane.

At no time should the PIC be head’s down. If the PIC needs to go head’s down, then really, controls are transferred to the other pilot. That pilot, even if they are SIC, becomes PIC. This is why single-pilot operations have higher accident rates than dual pilot, even student+instructor.

When it’s a student and a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), the instructor is the Pilot In Command. The only time a student can be PIC is when they are solo, or when granted PIC by an examiner.

The instructor is always responsible for the behavior of a pre-certificated student. Because of that, it is up to the instructor to never grant more authority to the student than they are capable of handling.

Most importantly, a CFI must never be heads-down. Being heads down is the same as letting them fly solo. Head-down, there is no way to see whether they are being safe. Heads-down is not instructing.

This all came about because a very experienced instructor was heads down, filling out a logbook, during post-flight taxi with a 23-hour student. The aircraft collided with a hangar that was fairly close to the taxiway. The instructor claimed it was the student’s fault; asked that the FSDO not be notified; claimed the student did not follow diretions; etc. This instructor has previously worked for the NTSB, and knows that damage to a wing spar from collision during taxi constitutes “substantial damage” and requires immediate notification as per CFR 830.

CFR 830:
Safety Reporting: